Aaron Lewis, Dmitry Lev, Daniel Sebag, Patricia Hamra, Hadas Levy, Yirmi Bernstein, Aaron Brahami, Nataly Tal, Omri Goldstein, Talia Yeshua
April 9, 2014
An overview of near-field optics is presented with a focus on the fundamental advances that have been made in the field since its inception 30 years ago. A focus is placed on the advancements that have been achieved in instrumentation. These advances have led to a greater generality of use with ultra-low mechanical and optical noise and the ultimate in force sensitivity with near-field optical probes. An emphasis is placed on the importance of fully integrating near-field optics with other imaging and spectroscopic modalities including Raman spectroscopy and electron/ion beam imaging. Important directions in probe design, force feedback methods and scanner flexibility are described. These developing avenues provide considerable optimism for an ever increasing incorporation of near-field optics to help resolve critical problems in fundamental and applied science.